– Morning! How was your weekend?
– Morning! Well, we went do Poland to visit my boyfriend’s family and we...
– Oh, so you have a boyfriend? That’s ok. You know, I have gay friends.
– Erm... OK... So what? I have gay friends too. And straight friends... What’s your point?
Saying “I have gay friends” might seem like a good way to show someone that you’re okay with them being gay. In reality, it mostly just shows that you’re desperately trying to show off your tolerance. It shows that you treat homosexuality as something strange, but tolerable.
But you know what kind of support do LGBTQ people really need? We just want to be treated like everyone else – that’s it. Try replacing “boyfriend” with “girlfriend” in the dialogue above. You might be surprised (”Oh, I thought you were single!”), you might get interested in the other person’s relationship (”How did you two meet?”), you might just talk abobut the actual subject of the conversation (”Cool, did you have fun on your trip?”) – but you wouldn’t comment on the other person’s heterosexuality, right?
It’s that simple – we’re just people, with similar passions, similar problems, similar relationships and the same need for love.
One day we won’t have to “come out of the closet”. We’ll just say we are in love and that will be all that matters – Ellen Degeneres
After my wedding, I’m proud to say, I realised I’d finally reached the point where coming out is not an issue anymore. I won’t ever come out again. Not that I ever did that movie-style “I need to tell you something... [long pause] I’m gay... [gasp]”. As a matter of fact, in the last time I actually had simply talked about my boyfriend the way straight guys talk about their girlfriends – but it still felt like I’m confessing some kind of a secret. Even after years of living outside of my homophobic homeland of Poland, the fear of being ridiculed, unaccepted, discriminated against or beaten up was still there.
But getting married was the final milestone on the way to leaving all of that behind. It made me feel that I actually do have all the same rights and duties as any straight person does. It’s not just “ok” to be gay – it’s perfectly normal. Even the registrar was openly mocking Poland’s backwardness.
I didn’t hesitate for a second to share the good news with anyone. My boyfriend is so wonderful, our love so beautiful, our relationship so strong. I’m proud of him and I’m proud of us.
And all we got was a positive, loving, touching response. Not a single person reacted differently than they would react to any other wedding – not even call it a “gay marriage” or anything. We didn’t get “gay married”, we just got married.
And that’s the kind of society I want to live in.